First weekend of February is the festival weekend for Zao Onsen. The community celebrates it by shows and fireworks on Saturday night. A couple of friends, Jamie and I decided to go and see the festival and most of all see the snow monsters that are symbol of Zao Onsen. Snow monsters are basically trees on top of the mountain covered with snow and frost all over that they look like monsters.
On both days, girls and I did snowshoe around the mountain. Jamie chose to snowboard. There are many trails throughout the beautiful forest around the ski trails. The conditions on this particular weekend was not very good as the snow was all frozen on top and the shoes did not get through the ice. But as a scenery and easiness of the trails, I think it was one of the most spectacular snowshoeing trips I’ve ever had.
We had saved our trek to everytrail. Please check both days’ treks. It would give you a nice idea of what we have done. I find this app really very useful while trekking. You need to keep an eye on your iPhone’s battery though. I would recommend turning it off while the app is working and carry a spare battery.
List of things useful while snowshoeing:
- a pair of snowshoes – binding is really very important ( I like my MSR Evos)
- a pair poles
- goggles (for snow and wind protection)
- good gloves – your hands freeze trying to put your snowshoes on!
- a good hat (Nepalese hats with earmuffs are good.
- thermos with hot water
- hot chocolate pouch
- big bottle of water
- small hand towel
- little waterproof backpack
- a couple of small ziplock bags (for left over food)
- a spare pair of socks and a tshirt (put them in a plastic bag)